09.08.30: Ride OUT!

I hadn't spent a lot of time riding since the lesson got rained out, and since we were still struggling a bit with Storm and I both getting a bit frustrated with the last few rides. I finally decided to get him out in the morning, and Nancy was also getting Julius a bit organized. Since she rode in the arena the day before during the play day, she was reluctant to spend too much time working in the arena. We chatted as we both got ready, and I was finished first so I went ahead and headed to the arena. I asked her how far she was planning on riding out, and she said she wasn't sure, so I went ahead and got started in the arena.
Storm was doing well, though we still were not as smooth with things as I would have liked. But overall it was a good ride, and we continued to ride for a while working on the left right balance and trying to begin working towards engagement. Jeanie came down with Winston to ride for a short time since she is beginning to work him back into riding after his time off from having a lot of abscesses. Nancy was amused because Julius was doing really well in the arena, despite the work he did the day before. She was reluctant to leave, but finally we all decidd to head out. Jeanie decided to take Winston as far as the beginning of the trail, and Nancy said she only wanted to go down to the stream, so I decided that was a managable first ride out and figured if things got bad we could always turn and go back with Jeanie rather than continue on.
Storm was first up the hill and did fairly well. He was nervous in the parking lot, but managed to make it through without too much trouble. He relaxed quite a bit more in the field, and we walked around the edge of the tree line. Apparently he had to go, because he stopped to pee, but was actually peeing before he quit moving! After that he moved much easier!!
Jeanie turned back at the edge of the trail where it heads down towards the trees along the back of the pasture, and I followed Nancy down the tree line and then into the woods. I discovered quickly that some trimming is in order because my head is a bit higher than most everyone else riding. Storm was nervous (as was I to a degree), but he did very well. Julius was a bit squirrly, but that is quite normal for him, though he is not as used to riding out with another horse.
Storm settled down once we got into the woods a bit. We headed down to the stream. As we approached the stream crossing we met Laurie riding Charlie coming down from the other side of the stream. Both Julius and Storm stopped for a moment with their ears up looking at Charlie for a moment. We began chatting across the stream a bit, and both of the horses settled down.
Nancy and I approached the stream and both horses explored the water a bit, though Julius really didn't want to go in as he doesn't like water so much. Storm didn't really feel like going across either, so we all turned and headed back up. We took the same route back that we had come since it was pretty slippery, though this time Storm led. He did very well in front, save the fact that he wanted to trot up the hill instead of just walking. It was a really great experiece for our first ride out on the trails. Hopefully we'll be able to replicate it some time soon.
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09.09.20: Hopping and Walking Along